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Is Split worth it?

We are traveling as a family to Croatia the last week of March 2023. Unfortunately, given work schedules, this is the only time we can make it work for everyone. I understand that the coast is pretty much closed down for the season and ferries aren't running. So at this point, we are planning 2 nights in Zagreb, 3 nights in Dubrovnik, 1 night in Mostar and two nights in the Split area. Would we be better off just cutting out Split and increasing time in Zagreb and Dubrovnik? Or maybe going to Ljubljana? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
8369 posts

I found Split extremely interesting. The way that the old town and the Roman Palace are so intertwined is so incredibly unusual. If anyone in your family loves Roman Ruins/history or architecture, they will find this fascinating. I've not been there in the "off season" so I don't know what it will seem like then.

Posted by
3836 posts

Where are you flying into and out of? What is your route? As much as I love Split, Ljubljana is also a great city and much closer to Zagreb. So depending on your route, I would visit Ljubljana.

Posted by
4 posts

We are trying to figure that out right now, but it will either be from Denver into Ljubljana or Zagreb. We have 8 nights total.
Options are:

(Fly to) Zagreb —2 nights
(Fly from Zagreb to) Dubrovnik—3 nights
(Drive from Dubrovnik to) Mostar—1 night
(Drive from Mostar to) Split—2 nights.

Or
(Fly to )Ljubljana—1 nights
(Train to) Zagreb—3 nights (with day trip to Plitvice)
(Fly to) Dubrovnik--2 nights
(Drive to) Mostar —1 night
(Drive to) Split—1 night.

Posted by
1650 posts

We spent only one night in Split and found it to be plenty. Mind you, we arrived there very early in the morning (on a ferry from Hvar), so we really did have the whole day there.

Keep in mind that 2 nights in Zageb is probably just a day there, or maybe a day and a half at most. That said, a lot of the indoor sights in the old part of Zagreb are closed because the earthquake in 2020 made the buildings unstable. We did like Zagreb, but if you are expecting to go into the Cathedral, old palaces, museums, etc., you may be disappointed.

Do you have plans to visit either Plitvice or Krka? I think they are well worth seeing (speaking re: Plitvice, anyway, as I didn't see Krka). With 2 nights in Split, you could visit Krka from there.

Posted by
1650 posts

Ah, sorry. I was typing my reply and didn't see your note about stopping in Plitvice. If you are going to do that, then you could easily take a day away from Split.

Posted by
691 posts

We really enjoyed Split. We spent one day visiting the city and one day on a catamaran tour to Hvar.

Posted by
5687 posts

I just got back from a few nights in Split. I had been there before and didn't have much desire to go back - but this time I was using it a a base for island hopping. It's not a bad city but even on my second visit I didn't exactly fall in love with it. I stayed inside Diocletian's palace which is pretty cool. Split is touristy these days but unlike Dubrovnik, there seem to be a lot of locals out on the Riva at night too, not just tourists, so the place has a nice vibe to it.

I'm a little biased here...but I LOVE Ljubljana (which I also visited again this trip). I greatly prefer Ljubljana to Split as a destination. (Again, nothing wrong with Split...it's a super convenient base for island hopping or other day trips in the area.) And I'm also not a huge fan of Zagreb (also spent one night there this time again). I think if you've never been to Croatia, a stop in Zagreb is worth it because it's the capital city and it's different from the touristy coastal cities. And some people do love Zagreb. I just didn't, and it's hard for me to recommend much time there. One night was plenty if there was at least half a day to explore the town.

Still, with such a short time, it might not really be worth detouring all the way to Ljubljana this trip. Maybe stick to Croatia. Try to fit in one of the national parks e.g. Plitvice Lakes National Park which is outstanding.

The ferries ARE running in March - just on a reduced schedule. The islands are part of the country and people live there. The ferries are public transportation for the locals not just tourist vehicles. March might be an interesting time to go, though I'm not sure what the weather will be like. Some things probably won't be open. Even in October things were pretty quiet especially on the islands, but I'm not sure you have time for the islands.

Posted by
1603 posts

We love Split! It's a beautiful city architecturally and with its location on the sea. It's very different from other cities with the city built around and through Diocletian's Palace. We spent 4 nights in Split. We visited Hvar Town by ferry one day and Trogir one day. We wandered around Split taking tons of photos and visited the outdoor market. We had a guided tour with Maja Benzon, recommended by Rick. We visited the very interesting ethnographic museum. There is the Mestrovic sculpture gallery which we didn't have time to visit. I think it's a lovely city.

We also love Ljubljana; however, as another posted suggested, I don't think you have the time on this trip to visit 2 countries. I would stick with just Croatia. And we also really like Zagreb. It's very, very different from Dubrovnik and Split so it gives you some nice diversity.

Posted by
407 posts

I will add my vote to the "no" side of the tally. As I told someone else, it just didn't warm my soul. It was a busy, working port city. There wasn't a lot of charm to me.

Posted by
3961 posts

We spent 2 nights in Split and enjoyed the historic sites and culture. The highlight was visiting the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. We spent about 2.5 hours there. I must have taken photos of most of the sculptures. The villa itself was incredible. It has a stunning view of the water. Mestrovic designed the villa and his family lived there for a decade before he donated it to the state. We felt one night would have been enough in Split. We spent 2 nights in Dubrovnik and felt that was perfect. As much as I love Ljubljana I would save it for another trip. Enjoy your planning!

Posted by
470 posts

I have a painting of Diocletian's Palace on my living room wall which i bought on a visit in 1967

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks all. We have decided to skip Slovenia on this trip which I think is the right decision. Our trip is laying out as 3 days in Dubrovnik, 1 night in Mostar, 1 night in Zadar, 1 night in Plitvice, and 2 nights in Zagreb. We are going to stop in Split for a few hours but travel on to Zadar and spend the night there. I appreciate everyone's feedback.